Castle and Beckett wake up in bed together, their hands cuffed together. It’s not Caskett fanfic. It’s the opening scene of this week’s clever, suspenseful, episode of “Castle,” “Cuffed.” Combining the repartee of “The Thin Man,” with the premises of “The Hangover” and the horror movie, “The Cube,” this was one of the show’s most entertaining episodes.
Under normal circumstances, Castle (Nathan Fillion) would love to be bound to Beckett (Stana Katic) in bed. But these are not normal circumstances. The two are locked in a dark room and do not remember how they got there. They have to solve the mystery in order to free themselves. The sexual tension is ramped up to 11 immediately as Castle lifts Beckett’s shirt and discovers a syringe mark indicating that she was drugged. Castle soon remembers that they met at a cheap motel. Beckett realizes they were there to look at a dead body. The victim is a man who was drugged and suffocated. His finger prints were burned off. They next recall going to the morgue. The man had a piece of paper in his pocket with the address of a cafe and plans to meet at 4PM. Castle notices there’s a postal barcode on the note. They use it figure out the man’s address in Queens. When they get to his house, they find an old woman locked in a cage. She gives them a creepy smile that will haunt numerous fans’ nightmares.
In a great meta moment, Castle and Beckett recall Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Lanie (Tamala Jones) arguing.
Beckett: They both want to be together, but neither want to admit to it.
Castle: Ugh, why do people do that to themselves?
Beckett: Maybe they just don’t see it.
Castle: How could they not? It’s so obvious.
Beckett notices a light switch. Once the power kicks on, they realize they are in a cinderblock room with a big locked freezer.
At the precinct, everyone wonders where Beckett is. Esposito orders a trace on the transponder on Beckett’s unit. They find her car parked near a security camera — our first hint that the bad guys aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. The surveillance reveals a man dropping off the car and getting into a truck with Castle and Beckett’s phones.
Castle and Beckett moan and get into a variety compromising positions while trying to figure out what’s in the freezer. Castle attempts to open the combination lock because he studied safe cracking while researching a book. When they open it, it turns out to be filled with knives, chains and manacles.
Lanie uses TV forensic science to construct the victim’s fingerprint. He is a trucker named Spooner who was hired for an unusual job. A DEA agent, Chuck Martinez, (Darien Heames) shows up at the station and reveals Spooner was smuggling drugs. Martinez met him at the cafe. He agreed to be an informant, but was killed before he could roll over on his bosses. All Spooner told Martinez was “It’s not at all what you think.”
In the mysterious room of mystery, Castle takes off Beckett’s high heeled boots, inspiring a thousand fan-fics. She climbs up on his shoulders so she can reach the hatch on the ceiling. When she opens it, she discovers a man staring at her. Beckett, scared falls. She ans Castle both land on the mattress. They fail to take advantage of this opportunity to have sex because they are terrified they are about to be murdered by a psycho.
Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito find the house in Queens. It’s empty. The house is foreclosed, owned by National Bank. They realize the smugglers are targeting foreclosed houses with basement hatches owned by that bank. They send cops to all the other houses in the area that fit that description.
Beckett and Castle overhear their kidnappers speaking what sounds like Arabic to another person. Castle thinks they’re being held by human traffickers and wonders how much he is worth. Beckett notices one of the walls is stucco and manages to kick a hole in it. On the other side is a tiger. The bad guys are trafficking exotic animals.Now that’s how you do a “Hangover” homage. The tiger starts chewing through the hole, ready to snack on Filet de Castle and Beckett. They try to shove the refrigerator in front of the hole to block the tiger. They aren’t strong enough
Ryan and Esposito arrive as Castle and Beckett cower on top of the refrigerator. Ryan and Esposito hear them screaming. The old woman who was in the cage pulls a gun on them. Her associates also have weapons. It’s a standoff. The woman says that if they let them go they can save their friends. Is their any question what they will do? They open the hatch to find Castle and Beckett typing in a sequence of numbers into an ancient computer. Wait, wrong show. Actually, they have chained themselves to the ceiling with the chains. The captain busts Team Tiger when they get outside.
Back in the happy Castle says if he ever has to be hitched to someone it would be Beckett. She catches his Freudian slip, then says if she had to be cuffed to someone,it’s him. Only next time, no tiger. That’s right, she hopes there will be a next time.